There's a plan to welcome Afghan refugees to the region

Afghan evacuees are expected to join the community in the coming weeks, and a coalition of regional partners have agreed to provide services as part of the Afghan Evacuee Welcoming Plan for NKY.

Kentucky Refugee Ministries, a refugee resettlement organization, is reopening its Covington office, which was initially opened in 2017. The agency is hiring for three full-time jobs there -- resettlement director, case manager, and community resources coordinator.

The office will be located in the Center for Great Neighborhoods headquarters on Martin Luther King Boulevard, and is scheduled to open on Nov. 15.

Horizon Community Funds has started the NKY Afghan Evacuees Community Fund to support and enable Afghans to get established in Northern Kentucky as they are relocated.

The two efforts are part of a coalition of Northern Kentucky organizations that include the Northern Kentucky of Chamber of Commerce and RefugeeConnect, a Cincinnati-based organization that connects refugees with needed resources.

Other partners include St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, Northern Kentucky Health Department, Kenton County Library, the Northern Kentucky Justice and Peace Committee, Learning Grove, the Center for Great Neighborhoods, the NKY Area Center of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, Cincinnati Compass and Welcome House of Northern Kentucky. 

“There is an urgent humanitarian need for this effort,” says John Koehlinger, executive director of Kentucky Refugee Ministries. “But as we have seen throughout our 31-year history — and the history of the U.S. refugee program —persecuted people from all over the world embrace and contribute to those communities that offer them freedom, safety, and opportunity.”

His organization’s services include helping refugees and immigrants access housing, medical care, and eligible public benefits, as well as employment and legal services.

The Horizon Community Funds’ NKY Afghan Evacuees Community Fund will support nonprofits and charitable organizations that are directly involved with supporting the Afghan relocation efforts. Those interested in supporting the fund can learn more and donate here.

The NKY Welcoming Plan was launched in March 2020 by Grow NKY, a workforce collective convened by the Northern Kentucky Chamber. It’s comprised of leaders of several organizations whose goal is to grow, attract, and retain a globally competitive workforce.


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Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is the managing editor of NKY Thrives, an award-winning journalist, and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.